EU Visa-Slams Ukrainians After February 2014 Ukrainian Coup

Eric Zuesse

Although the coup in Ukraine in February 2014 was allegedly done in order to get Ukraine into the European Union (because the overthrown President Viktor Yanukovych had just before declined the EU’s offer for Ukraine to join the EU), European countries are now denying Ukrainians visas even more than they had been doing before the coup and its follow-on Association Agreement with the EU.

Ukraine’s independent European Integration website headlined on July 21st, “The Percentage of Refusals Increased,” and reported that, “Of the 22 countries in the Schengen area [the countries where visas are not required], 16 increased the percentage of refusals of entrance to Ukrainians as compared to the year 2013,” which was the final year prior to the coup.

Furthermore: “Switzerland and Finland denied visas to Ukrainians at a rate three times higher than in 2013, and Spain, Portugal, Greece and Sweden denied visas almost twice as much as in 2013.”

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin “admitted: Some consulates deliberately do not give visas to Ukrainians, even when they are eligible.”

The same website had reported on June 26th that they were informed, “Most of the people who are affected by this live outside Kiev and the other major cities. … I fear it will lead to increased numbers of forged papers from those areas.”

On July 15th, the website quoted Klimkin at a meeting of Ukraine’s parliamentary committee on European integration, saying, “Some countries pretend that everything remains as it was before, but against the background of internal pressure [to block more Ukrainians from visiting] they change the visa practice.” That report quoted Klimkin saying he is “now putting pressure on these consulates and capitals, demanding they return to the previous practice.”

The report on July 21st discussed what might be causing these increased refusals: “Why are Ukrainians denied visas? On this, we asked our expert Visa-free diary editor, … Sergei Sidenko:

‘The problem of increasing the number of refusals last year was a response to the events in the East [especially the region that had voted 90%+ for Yanukovych and rejected the coup-imposed government, and where the new Ukrainian government responded by bombing that region]. Some countries are suspicious of Ukrainians generally, but especially of people who live near the conflict-zone, suspicious that they’ll take advantage of tourist visas and ask for asylum.’”

The EU hadn’t been very eager for Ukraine to join it, but Ukraine’s joining the EU had long been a goal of American Presidents in order to isolate and weaken Russia, and especially President Obama planned for this, and made the changes in his Administration right after the 2012 U.S. Presidential election, in order to carry it out, such as by promoting Victoria Nuland to run European affairs, and transferring Geoffrey Pyatt to the Kiev Embassy to become the man on the ground coordinating it. The fractious EU has gone along with Obama’s plan, and (except for Netherlands), wasn’t involved with planning and perpetrating the coup. This is the reason why there still is considerable ambivalence within Europe as to whether or not Ukraine should ever be admitted into the EU: the U.S. is more eager for that to happen than the EU itself is. The EU’s leaders were even shocked to find out that Yanukovych had been overthrown by a coup. Only after the fact did it become “the most blatant coup in history,” because of the many leaks (such as the ones linked to here at “shocked to find out” and “coordinating it”). It was entirely a U.S.-run operation.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • Central European

    This article is guilty of considerable understatement. There never was any realistic chance of the Ukraine joining the EU, whatever the US-directed media might have said. Now that Ukraine is broke and the EU itself is tottering, the chances are nil. And the populations in just about every EU country would vote solidly against it, if asked. We never should have accepted Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, etc. – the EU could never digest Ukraine, and the country is far too corrupt to get its act together. Add a civil war to the mix…. no, thanks.

    • cettel

      You are wrong: this article neither states nor assumes that there “was any realistic chance of the Ukraine joining the EU.”

  • I don’t agree with the EU leaders being so surprised, a few were, the more important players I think were not. They certainly played they’re part in applying pressure on Yanukovych to pick one side or the other. He was under enormous pressure to choose, and also to release Yulia Tymoshenko from jail. So in my opinion the EU technocrats have blood on they’re hands.

  • Carl_Herman

    Thank you, Eric, for being the leading reporter on this topic (as far as I know). We’ll keep boldly pointing to the facts, and discover all together what develops. I don’t imagine a winning endgame other than our own military enacting arrests of our .01% War Criminals, and allowing factual reports to be considered by the general public.

  • Jun 22, 2015 Rebel Soldiers Hold the Buffer Zone

    Caught between Ukrainian government forces and the pro-Russia separatists of the Donetsk People’s Republic, the village of Shyrokyne in the Donetsk region has seen on and off fighting for several months. Despite a ceasefire being declared in mid-February, shelling and sniper fire continue to rain down from both sides. Locals are left behind to watch helplessly as food supplies run low.


    The Law of Ukraine “On the Constitutional Court of Ukraine” adopted on October 16, 1996 sets forth that the task of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine is to guarantee the supremacy of the Constitution of Ukraine as the Fundamental Law of the State throughout the territory of Ukraine.